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Highway Driving

934 Views 10 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  badbrad
I'm new, and I'm currently working on my Commando. She runs, but needs some work before she's a daily driver. What are the Commandos like on the highway? Top speed, safety, stability, etc. I have a Buick225 with the TH400, and am wondering if I need to put in an overdrive or what.
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My two cents:
1. It's as safe as you drive it, drive it safely!
2. It's a narrow track Jeep, it can roll over.
3. It's got drum brakes, so it doesn't stop on a dime.
4. Top Speed, depends on gearing. Mine tops out at 55mph. I know others that go 70mph regularly but that might be a little fast in a Jeepster? Mine is SOA
5. Stability, It's over 30 years old, never know what's going brake next but with good tires & front end parts it should track straight and be quite driveable.
5. Roll cage is a great safety improvement! It's been discussed a lot on this board, do a search, lots of great info here.
6. PowerSteering was the best thing I've done to mine!
7. As for needing an overdrive, might depend on your gearing but OD is nice to have. Not sure I've seen one with a Dana 20 TC but I'm sure some one else can elaberate more on this.
8. Ok this was more than 2 cents. Welcome to the Jeepser Sickness.
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fifty-five thats a little slow for my taste. On a good level non curvy highway my baby purs at 75, its the greatest feeling. Oh and Im not nucking futs I just trust my rig. You' ve got to try it.

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I'm third so here's my six cents worth. My halfcab is stock with ross steering, 11" brakes, no lift, 225 tires, and manual tranny. Cruises at 75 and will stay up with the 80+ crowd if needed. 17-19 mpg on the highway and 15-17 in the city. Steers and stops straight. It will become squirley with larger tires as I've been there done that, but a stock rig properly maintained is a highway animal. Just remember the rig will be what you build it to be.
My 73 does fine on the highway. I don't know it's top speed (the speedo reads high), but I can keep up with 75+ traffic with no problems.
I wondered if somebody from Nevada would pipe in. You guys have awesome speed limits. I always like cruising down the highway in Nevada.

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Uh Las Vegas is in Nevada
Mine is a daily driver. With 3.73s and 33" tires, it easily goes faster than it should. With the disk brakes, saginaw conversion, and new springs and bushings, I feel safe driving mine at 75 on the freeway. With the 10" drums, old springs with worn out bushings and Ross steering, I didn't feel safe at 55.
Here here Dave! My 69 Jeepster was the same. When I first got it I didn't feel safe leaving the driveway. Ross steering, rag joint, T-14 tranny, manual 10 inch brakes. I converted all the above, TH400, power booster, saginaw box and power steering. I should be putting in the D44 rear and D30 front both with 11 inch brakes next weekend. I cruise at 75mph and feel totally safe. I have the 72 Commando and it has the 11 inch brakes, Saginaw power steering and TH400 already. It still feels squirely I think because the U-Joints need replacing and the Saginaw box is loose. Not putting as much time and money in that one yet though. Just need it to run when the 69 is down, (usually for something or other).


PS. In re. the querry "Is there any car with a better name than JEEP Commando? I think not." yes...JEEPSTER Commando!

PSS. Don't you think inflation and cost of living increases have impacted the phrase..."my 2 cents?" Gotta be half a buck at least now-a-days!
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Finally got the nerve to take mine on it's first highway ride today, and made it to work and back (52 mi. round trip, stop and go some of the way home) with no probs.

My main concern was engine temp. I have a new 3 core radiator, but no shroud, and I' keep reading about how much the 401 likes to heat up, but with it being a pretty nice day (about 70 degrees) it never got up over 190.

The 401 makes keepin up a little too easy, especially with 30 yr. old front end componants, (A little too much play in the steering wheel to get too comfortable, a definite future upgrade.) Since the speedo doesn't work too well (does anybody's?) I was just keeping up with traffic which is usually about 70.

I'm running 31's with 3.73, th400, power steering, 11' drums, all on 4" alcans.

I'll have to try some local 4-wheelin' and see if the temp becomes a factor.

BTW, thanks Garrett (Bud) for talking me into driving it in to work.
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I will second the rest of these opinions and add one more.
I bought a half-cab this fall, flew to Arizona at the end of a business trip and drove it back to Pa, around 2500 miles in all. It is a 68, all original stuff like Ross steering, has 11" HD brakes, standard tranny, 3.73 gears, V6 and was in pretty good mechanical shape. It cruised very nicely on the highway at 65 and I had it up over 70 on some stretches with no problems at all.

Manke sure the brakes are in top shape, steering is checked and any worn parts replaced (or converted to Saginaw/PS as you prefer) and try it out carefully to get used to it's personality. Remember it is a Jeep, not a sports car.

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